There is a good article on "Iconic Brands" and whether
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
There is a good article on "Iconic Brands" and whether
Monday, May 28, 2007
The pursuit of growth is forcing companies’ to capitalize on the value which lies hidden in the value chain of the business. Companies like Maruti were the first one to go into used car sales through their “True Value” chains, and now in many cities the true value dealership is as good as that of the new car dealership. Now Ashokleyland is entering into the used truck market. For the consumer it is win-win situation, because he can rely on the companies to provide warranty and assurance on the quality of the car or truck he or she is purchasing and the company gains by gaining an entry into hitherto unorganized market. The process of entering into the sales of used cars also helps push the resale value of the company’s vehicles. The objective is to squeeze out as much value as possible from the value chain and inturn also provide value to the customer. Companies like Porsche claim that 2/3 of the cars ever manufactured by the company are still on the road, maybe one of these days Maruti’s might also come up with such a claim.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
How much would a pictorial representation of a warning have an impact on the consumption of a product? The pictorial representation I am talking about is the 'skull and crosses' symbol that is being proposed to be put on tobacco products in the country. The fear expressed by manufacturers is that the sales of tobacco products would drop leading to large-scale unemployment in the Bidi industry. The assertion is that it would lead to a drop in the sales of tobacco products. Though most of the tobacco products do have some sort of warning written on them as in the case of cigarettes and packed tobacco, the warning has not been put on Bidis. The legislation is a step in the right direction, as written warning may not be of much use as the fact is that Bidi is consumed by people who are illiterate ( may a gross generalization) . And when the symbolic picture is in place it would communicate that consumption of tobacco products is harmful. I am not sure about the impact that it would have on the old -seasoned tobacco consumers, but might have an impact on the new-user. The government has been deferring the implementation of the order under the pressure of powerful lobby of Bidi manufacturers in the country.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
ITC in March launched it's ready-to-eat snacks 'Bingo' to mark it's entry into the Rs 2,000 crore fast-moving branded snacks market. As usual the company has backed the launch by a well designed ad campaign and the taste and variants of the product are based on extensive research on tastes of consumers . The launch of Bingo represents ITC Foods' fifth major line of foods business after Staples, Biscuits, Ready-to-Eat and Confectionery businesses. The launch represents the attempt made by the company to reduce the dependence on tobacco in it's total turnover.
Though the success of otherwise of 'Bingo' would be decided in the market one thing which I have not been comfortable with is the number of variants that the product has been launched with. There are a total of sixteen variants. The intended strategy would be try and cater to the tasted of the as many consumers as possible, but total number of variants seem a little too high, especially for a new launch.
The impact of too many variants would be on three participants . First is the the channel, here the advantage of having more variants that it would enable the sales force to push more stocks into the channel during the launch. This initial push would give the sales force some thing to cheer about. The distributor would have to take minimum quantities of all the variants which would eventually force him to carry more stocks, with him having no idea of what would sell. The retailer normally would have a limited budget for the category and when confronted with this many variants he would either have to select a few or take smaller quantities of all, both of the strategies would be risky for a new launch.
The consumers would be the second set of people who would also be troubled by the number of variants. He has to try the new tastes one by one to decide which one would be best. Though the comapny would want to claim that the pricing at 5 and 10 rupees should make trials easy. And if he is not happy with the first variant he tries he might not go on to try the other variants in offer.
Lastly the production people would also behappy if lesser variants are introduced to start with, because they would not know what is moving off the shelfs and the consumer acceptance of the variety in the offerings.
So all in all though the impact of many variants would look good in the short run, it may not turn out to be the best strategy in the long run.......
Sunday, May 13, 2007
The reasons attributed PSIII below par performance has been supply chain glitches and pricing issues. But the stark reality for a marketer is that he or she cannot be complacent and hope that the earlier successes would be enough to get him the sales day after day. The competition responds at a far greater speed than what used to be in the earlier days and consumers want newer features and versions every year and if you don't provide them the competitor would. Though it is truer in the case of technology-driven companies, it also applies to the old economy companies, but the rate of change is much slower....
Saturday, May 12, 2007
After Kurkure Express Now we have Nokia trains. The corporate world is trying innovative ways of reaching consumers and Railways is willing to partner with them. After the pilot run of summer special trains in South , now telecom major Nokia taking a train across the nation to promote its products. The idea is to use trains as concept stores where in the passengers can widow shop and try out various handsets of Nokia. Plans are also afoot to run a non-passenger train across the country which will stop at small stations across the country displaying Nokia products.
With a Tab of approximately Rs 35-45 lakh for a round trip, it looks like an attractive option. This is one more addition to the long list of unconventional methods of reaching out to the far flung consumers in the country , breaking through the media clutter and improve brand awareness . It is also to be noted that the initiative comes from a player which is clear market leader with close to 70% of market share the mobile handset market which shows that they are not looking at the current market share but invest in the future as the penetration would increase. and want to ensure that the brand retains its market share as the category grows.
Friday, May 11, 2007
These two news items on Spiderman in Bhojpuri and the plan to Indianise Archie's comics stuck to me as the precursors to the change in the mindset of global companies and brands when they approach India. In the earlier days one found many of the MNCs foundering in Indian markets when they brought in products which had either been phased out or one which were a generation old as was in the case of Merc when they first came into India in the early 1990's with their old models which were being used as Taxis in Newyork. This marked change in the approach of the companies is also a sign of the recognition that India as a market has arrived. News item that Indians have overtaken Japaneses as the highest spending tourists in UK also emphasises the same point. Today to successfully cater to these growing mass of consumers companies and brands will have to localize their offering to the palate of the Indian consumer.